Despite having to find £22 million of cuts to services this year, Labour in Gateshead have poured £45,264.89 into a plush revamp of the offices for the Labour Leader of the Council and the all-Labour Cabinet.
We spotted the work being carried out during the summer and discovered how much was spent by submitting a Freedom of Information request.
At a time when priorities in spending are in sharp focus due to the cuts, this refurbishment can only be seen as a complete waste of money.
Labour have clearly demonstrated where their priorities lie. Their own leadership now has a comfortable office paid for by taxpayers from where they can decide how to slash services to pay for their own plush comfort.
The same Freedom of Information request also revealed that the Council plans to spend nothing on the Opposition Office which has not been redecorated since 1986 when the Civic Centre was built.
There are more important things on which to spend than an office revamp. So I’m happy that the wallpaper and furniture (other than one seat) in the Opposition Office hasn’t changed in 29 years!
Indeed, given the desire of the Labour party to go back to the 1980s, the opposition office decor would make them feel at home. And since I have every intention of rehousing them to the opposition office, I will be doing all I can to retain the office as it has been for the past 29 years.